Science Art: Reconstruction on paper of Tyrannosaurus rex, from Bulletin of the AMNH, 1905 (Linda Hall Library).

Scientific illustration of T rex, named by HF Osborn, discovered by Barnum Brown, drawn by WD Matthews. Big dinosaur! Little arms.Click to embiggen

From the Linda Hall Library “Scientist of the Day” entry on Henry Fairfield Osborn:

Osborn named and described some of the most famous dinosaurs in the world, including Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, Ornitholestes, Struthiominus, and Oviraptor. Oddly, Osborn did not discover any of these dinosaurs. In the “old days” (the 1820s), dinosaurs such as Iguanodon and Megalosaurus were named and described by their finders, but by the late 19th century, paleontology had become a …

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Science Art: Weather Delay, by Ferdinand Warren

A scientific illustration as a fine-art painting by Ferdinand Warren, found at the Smithsonian here: to embiggen

From the Smithsonian Institutes’ National Air and Space Museum “Eyewitness to Space” collection, paintings from the years when NASA had fine artists capture the technology taking humans into space:

Working together, James Dean, a young artist employed by the NASA Public Affairs office, and Dr. H. Lester Cooke, curator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art, created a program that dispatched artists to NASA facilities with an invitation to paint whatever interested…

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Science Art: Coronal plasma on an ionization tube in operation, by BentaxGermany, 2013

Scientific illustration - well, a photograph, really - of plasma forming around a vacuum tube, by BentaxGermanyClick to embiggen vastly
If it looks like a miniature sun, maybe that’s because on one level it is – it’s creating plasma, which surrounds it like a corona around the sun. This plasma is being generated by an electrical current, of course, and not a vast fusion reaction in space.

You can read more about what’s going on in this page on how ionization tubes work in an electric circuit. They’re related to neon lights – fill what would be a vacuum tube up with a particular gas, and an electric …

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Science Art: Galileo's Moon Phases, 1616.

Click to embiggen slightly

Galileo drew pictures of the moon – pictures that included imperfections on the surface. The moon, he observed, had texture. Hills and valleys. Craters. Dimensionality.

This was controversial at the time; if heavenly bodies couldn’t lead us to greater perfection, what could?

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Science Art: Perspective view of the sky..., from "Refraction by Ice Crystals" in Instructions to Marine Meteorological Observers, 1938.

scientific illustration of the sky, a perspective view of effects from ice crystals for meteological observersClick to embiggen

These are the optical effects you have to be aware of if you’re going to describe the sky when ice-filled cirrus clouds are overhead. Ice crystals refract sunlight differently than water droplets, and you get these curves and halos which a trained meteorologist (of the 1930s) had to be able to record accurately.

It’s from a U.S. Weather Bureau manual for meteorologists that I found in the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

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Endangered words.

12 December 2007 grant b 0

Natural History magazine sounds a warning for words. University of Michigan linguist Sarah Grey Thomason, a specialist in the Salish–Pend d’Oreille language of Montana’s Native […]

Dinosaur meat.

11 December 2007 grant b 0

Palaeontologists in North Dakota have found a first-of-a-kind duck-billed dinosaur fossil, the BBC reports, containing not just hadrosaur bones, but the remains of skin, ligaments […]

One chimp, two chimp.

10 December 2007 grant b 0

Science Daily continues to make me feel inadequate by pointing out that even chimpanzees are better at math: “There are still many people, including many […]

Making a brain.

6 December 2007 grant b 0

For a few years now, computer engineers have been building a virtual brain – using computers to replicate every neural connection in a mammal’s gray […]

Invisible? Or just empty?

5 December 2007 grant b 0

Nature recently revealed research that will please the nihilists among us, from astrophysicist Teppo Mattsson, who says that dark energy, the stuff that keeps the […]

Robot Guitar.

4 December 2007 grant b 0

I’m not sure if this takes the fun out of weird intonations and un-well-temperedness, but Gibson is now selling an amazing guitar that Is. A. […]

Dry tobacco.

3 December 2007 grant b 0

Nature reports on a new strain of genetically modified drought-resistant tobacco. OK, so some people are probably thinking this sounds like the least healthy plant […]